LatinoJustice is Disappointed by Supreme Court Split Decision Affirming Judgment That Blocks DAPA and Keeps Millions of Immigrants in the Shadows


Contact: Christiaan Perez, Manager of Advocacy and Digital Strategy, 212-739-7581, 925-522-6840 or

NEW YORK, June 23, 2016 -- The administration in November 2014 announced the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) initiative as well as an expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Texas and 25 other states subsequently filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court in Texas challenging the President’s executive actions. The new deferred action programs were enjoined by a federal district court judge in February 2015 which decision was subsequently upheld by a split 2-1 panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in November 2015. The federal government then appealed the case to the Supreme Court.

“This is a suspect, politically motivated legal challenge brought by Texas with support from the governors of states like Florida, Alabama, and New Jersey that seeks to tear apart families,” said Juan Cartagena, LatinoJustice PRLDEF President and General Counsel. “The president’s action seeks to help immigrant families, many of which have mixed status, come from out of the shadows. With the injunction remaining in place, many Latino immigrant families will continue to live in fear, knowing that their loved ones could be detained and deported at a moment’s notice. U.S. citizen children whose parents would qualify for this temporary relief from deportation would gain much-needed economic and emotional stability if these common sense measures were implemented.”

“We believe these initiatives constituted a lawful exercise of the President’s executive discretion” said Jose Perez, Deputy General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF. “We will continue to work with our allies in pursuing other possible avenues of legal relief.”

LatinoJustice was part of a diverse coalition of 326 immigration, civil rights, labor, and social service groups including the National Immigration Law Center and the American Immigration Council who filed an amicus (friend-of-the-court) brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Texas, urging the court to lift the injunction that blocked the executive actions on immigration that President Obama announced in November 2014.

The amicus brief outlined how families and communities would benefit from the initiatives. The brief provides personal stories that illustrate the myriad ways that prospective beneficiaries of DAPA and expanded DACA could contribute more fully to their communities if the immigration initiatives were allowed to take effect.

LatinoJustice’s amicus brief is available here. For more background on the legal challenges to executive action on immigration, see here.

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